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Skin care during Chemo.

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Skin care during Chemo.

Hello all

Coming up for Chemo 2, and looking for any advice about skin care products that are Chemo skin friendly.

I cut down facial skincare to the basics (or so I thought!) in the run up to Chemo, but a week in and my face was NOT happy at all with my usual products with cuts to the sides of my mouth, dry red skin under each eye (looked as though I’d been in a fight!) and dry/stingy patches on my eyes and cheeks. Lovely!  My usual products have been abandoned and I’ve located sample pots of sensitive skincare which I were lurking at the back of the cupboard.  Whilst vastly improved, I’m not quite there, and there are so many products on the market it’s difficult to know where to start buying new.  I’m 51 and had (until two weeks ago) pretty reasonable skin. Any suggestions of what has worked for you would be welcomed! 

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Hi Pheobe55

The steroids are a double edged sword aren’t they?! Feel good for a couple of day, then crash at the same time the Chemo kicks in - hope you’re feeling more like yourself now. 

And great dramatic effect on your zoom call! If you’re going to have a nose bleed, you might as well do it in style 😂.

Take care xx 

Take care 

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Hello! Thanks for the tips! I'll keep you posted. Dose 2 went well: suffered once the 3 days of steroids ended with fatigue though. And then I had my first chemo nosebleed last night - on camera on a Zoom call for maximum drama! Px

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Hi Phoebe55

That’s great news - glad you’ve found products that are working for you 👍.  It’s all a bit trial and error isn’t it?  Good to find something early on that does the job, it’s one less thing to worry about!! 

I would also be interested to hear others experience.  I’m no expert and the little bit of reading I’ve done suggests that Argan Oil might be good for scalp and nails. Have bought myself some, though not yet tried - fingers crossed it’s a wonder worker! A friend of mine went through Chemo a few years back and lost her hair during treatment. She swore by Liz Earle’s Botanical Shine Nourishing Hair oil for her scalp, and supporting regrowth.  

Hope your treatment is going well, and you too are doing ok. Let me know how you get on with head/hair care xx 

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Cheers @mrskettlebell! I'm getting on well with the MooGoo bits so far and have gone over to Aveeno for the body stuff which seems to be working well too.

I was wondering what to do about scalp care. My hair was below shoulder length and I decided to let it go (I sound blasé, I really wasn't!) and get it a wig. But I'm wondering about what to put on the scalp. I still have some Aveda Shampure so I'm washing with that but what to put on afterwards? Any tips would be gratefully received: I'm not sure if keeping it moisturised at this point is enough, or if there's anything else I should be doing? 

Thanks so much for all the tips and I hope you're all doing as ok as possible right now! 

Phoebe

 

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Good luck with you the new regime Phobe55. I don’t have a recommendation for spots (hopefully someone will step in with tips), but I too have noticed the odd spot arrive in week 2 of a 3 week cycle.  Odd! 

Chemo is certainly has a weird old effect on the skin! Learning from my first cycle, using a gentler cleanser and slapping on the moisturiser has made a monumental difference in cycle two. This time around, I have bizarrely found that my eyelids were starting to get the start of sore flaking skin (!!) - solved by the marvellous MooGoo - so worth keeping an eye on parts moisturiser doesn’t normally reach!

@Renpen - thanks for additional recommendations. Will look into these. Agree re specialist products!  I now know what my eye cream has been doing and consider it even more value for money! 

 

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Thanks for all the tips on skincare. I've ordered some MooGoo stuff

: my face is so incredibly dry and my normal Liz Earle cleanse and polish/Beauty Pie Serum/ Origins Mega Mushroom moisturiser aren't making any difference. One big change is I have a chin full of spots. I usually get one spot a year! Is there anything I can use? I would imagine things like Origins Spot On are a complete no-go now? 

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I had real problems using my usual regional based products. And not using them sure shows that they work, I definitely have more wrinkles without them!

i was recommended Squalane oil from The ordinary, plus Eucerin moisturiser with no anti ageing. I also have eucerin Aquaphor, which is like a posh Vaseline! Over all my skin is doing much better on this combo. But I can’t wait to get back to some anti ageing products!

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You sound very organised, Mrs Kettlebell, glad you've found products that suit you.  Good luck with the rest of your treatment

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Thank for all your advice and really appreciate your time to respond.  

I realise skin care in a very personal thing and what works for one doesn’t necessarily work for all - but good to understand what has worked for each of you.  

As an update - I invested in Cera Ve sensitive skin cleanser and moogoo moisturiser over the weekend both of which have been recommended for sensitive and chemo skins. I’ve also restarted using a fleeting wipe of glycolic acid once a day to remove dead skin (am sure that was part of the problem), a Neurophroline serum which is supposed to aid troubled skin and Decleor’s Prolegene gel - a bit of a wonder product as far as I’m concerned. In 4 days my skin has improved dramatically - redness has completely disappeared as has the cracked, dry and peeling skin. Hurray! 

I’ve taken your advice about Aveeno and an emollient wash recommended by the Chemist, which I’m sure are starting to work their magic too and covers other parts not previously considered! 

With these, vaseline/aloe vera for nose, lip balm, scalp/nail oils and hand/foot cream I hope I’m covered for the rest of treatment. 

Thanks again for great advice xx 

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Thanks Wallflower. I’m looking forward to the temporary age reversal! I’ll give Aveeno a go - it’s certainly worth me being more pre-emotive with other skincare xx 

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I've also found that the skin on my face looks a good 10 years younger during chemo - shame that's not going to last... I've kept on with my usual mix of Boots No 7 and Clinique and it's been fine

The skin on the rest of me was a different matter - started getting extremely dry within days of my first cycle.  My chemo nurse recommended Aveeno and I use the most high-powered items in the range for showering and moisturising.  My skin hasn't been so soft for years!  Might be worth a look for you

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Thanks Jaybro - really helpful suggestions.  I appreciate everyone’s treatment/skin/reactions are different - but good to have a pointer to set me off in the right direction. Also useful to understand that skin might vary further during treatment too - I’ll look forward to seeing if my wrinkles disappear, even temporarily!! 

That’s a great tip about Aloe vs Vaseline. I’ve struggled with dry nostrils too and the nurses recommend Vaseline which, as you say, seems much less palatable (avoided trying to date!).  

My concern has been exactly as you describe - any skin concerns becoming infected or otherwise using depleted white blood cells to repair damage when needed elsewhere to get through Chemo. Fortunately the recent real problem areas have virtually cleared up but skin still feels not right, and keen to keep on top of it for the next cycle.  Hear you about other body areas too - thank you xx

 

 

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Hi Mrs Kettlebell

I think it’s likely to be a case of trial and error for skin care. Like you, I abandoned my usual regime of Environ products as I suspected they’d be way too strong and went for simpler products. I loved Dr Organic Rose Otto Day Cream, which I got from Holland & Barrett but there were times when even that felt too strong. Mostly I used Simple cleanser and Simple moisturiser. You will find your skin becomes very delicate - I lost most of my wrinkles and agey things and had beautifulLy smooth but pale skin for the duration - then it reverted to normal with a vengeance.

Do be careful what you put on sore patches as these can get infected and infection you do NOT want. As you lose your nasal hair, your nostrils may become very sensitive too.  Avoid your usual abrasive products that you may use for blemishes and maybe ask your bc nurse for advice. I used a fair bit of aloe vera gel and also found good old Vaseline great for my lips and nostrils (the aloe vera one is more palatable) and a separate tub for other parts of the body which dry and get sore, like in and round the vulva and anus. Probably not something you usually have to think about but they become just as important in terms of skin care and avoiding sores. My GP recommended Epaderm to use for washing and moisturising and, 20 months on, I still use it.

Hope you find something to suit you. Those tiny sores magnify during chemo and you have enough on your plate without worrying about a sore face. All the best for the rest of your chemo xx